Mon, 19 Apr 2021

New York [US], March 2 (ANI): A third woman has accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of unwanted advances in 2019, amid an escalating crisis for the governor who is already facing two sexual harassment allegations.

In an interview with the New York Times on Monday, the woman Anna Ruch on Monday said that during a crowded wedding reception in New York in 2019, Cuomo had put his hand on her bare lower back.

She further said the governor had remarked then that she seemed "aggressive" and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as he drew closer.

"I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed... I turned my head away and didn't have words in that moment," she said.

The latest accusation has plunged Cuomo's third term into turmoil as the governor's defenders and Cuomo himself strain to explain his behavior, according to the New York Times.

The other two women -- Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett -- who accused the governor of sexual harassment were both aides in the Cuomo administration.

"To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to," Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday.

He also acknowledged that some of his previous comments "may have been insensitive or too personal" and said he was "truly sorry" to those who might have "misinterpreted (the remarks) as an unwanted flirtation."However, Bennett said that the apology and attempted explanation issued by the governor on Sunday night was 'woefully inadequate'.

"These are not the actions of someone who simply feels misunderstood... They are the actions of an individual who wields his power to avoid justice," she said.

Last week, Boylan alleged that the Democratic governor kissed her on the lips following a one-on-one briefing in his New York City office in 2018.

With the latest accusation, calls for Cuomo to resign grew louder as New York Representative Kathleen Rice became the first Democratic US House member to demand that the governor step down, reported CNN.

"The time has come," Rice tweeted late Monday. "The Governor must resign."With her statement Monday, Rice joined a small group of other Democratic state lawmakers, including state Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Gustavo Rivera, and Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, who have said Cuomo should leave office in the wake of mounting allegations. (ANI)

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